Abilene Network

Abilene Network

Abilene Network was the U.S. high-performance backbone network created by the Internet2 community. It is now called Internet2 Network

One of the project's aims was to achieve 10Gb connectivity between every node by the end of 2006. Over 220 member institutions participate in Abilene, mostly universities and some corporate and affiliate institutions, in all of the US states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

When it was established in 1999, the network backbone had a capacity of 2.5 Gigabits per second. An upgrade to 10 gigabits per second began in 2003 and was completed on February 4, 2004.

The name "Abilene" was chosen because of the project's resemblance, in ambition and scope, to the Abilene railhead in Abilene, Kansas, which in the 1860s represented the frontier of the United States for the nation's railroad infrastructure. In keeping with this analogy, the term National LambdaRail (NLR) is applied to regional optical networks providing OC-192 connectivity in [http://networks.internet2.edu/hopi/ "Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure" (HOPI)] testbeds.

Abilene and Internet2 and the Internet2 Network

The media often incorrectly report about a network called "Internet2", for example about a recent series of lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America against university students attending several of the major participants in Abilene. Some sources even suggest that Internet2 is a network wholly separate from the Internet. This is misleading, since Internet2 is a consortium and not a computer network. It is possible that many news sources adopted the term Internet2 because it seems like a logical name for a next-generation Internet backbone. Articles that reference Internet2 as a network were in fact referring to the Abilene Network. Internet2 has now adopted the name Internet2 Network for the upgraded Abilene Network.

Abilene forms a high-speed backbone by deploying many of the technologies developed by Internet2. Abilene is a private network used for education and research, but is not entirely isolated, since its members usually provide alternative access to many of their resources through the public Internet. Abilene is not technically part of the Internet since it does not peer with the public Internet networks.

The official website of Qwest, one of many major contributors to the Abilene Network, has a good [http://www.qwest.com/about/qwest/internet2/faqs.html FAQ clarifying the distinction between Internet2 and Abilene] .

Operations Center (NOC)

Abilene's NOC has been hosted at Indiana University since its inception. "See [http://abilene.internet2.edu/ abilene.internet2.edu] - "The cross-country backbone is 10 gigabits per second, with the goal of offering 100 megabits per second of connectivity between every Abilene connected desktop."

2006/2007 Upgrade

The Abilene project had been utilizing optical fiber networks donated by Qwest Communications. Internet2's Abilene [http://i2net.blogspot.com/ transport agreement with Qwest expired] in October 2007. In March 2006, Internet2 announced its upgrade plans and migration to Level 3 Communications. Unlike the previous architecture, Level3 manages and operates an Infinera Networks based DWDM system devoted to Internet2. Internet2 has control over provisioning and uses the 40 lambda capacity to provide IP backbone connectivity as well as transport for a new SONET-based dynamic provisioning network based on the Ciena Networks CoreDirector platform. The IP network continues to be based on the Juniper Networks T640 routing platform.

When the transition to the new Level3-based infrastructure was complete, the name "Abilene" ceased to be used in favor of "The Internet2 Network".

External links

* [http://abilene.internet2.edu/ Abilene Backbone Network]
* [http://www.internet2.edu/network/ Internet2 Network]
* [http://www.indiana.edu/~uits/cpo/abilene021703/ "Internet2 Abilene Backbone Network Upgrade Passes Transcontinental Milestone"]
* [http://i2net.blogspot.com/ Internet2 Network Upgrade Blog]

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